Learn How to Make Healthier Hot Chocolate

Make hot chocolate the right way, with the ingredients to make it a healthful treat!
487390253

487390253

Hot chocolate with foam in two mugs

Nothing hits the spot in winter like a good cup of hot cocoa. While some recipes call for cream and melted chocolate, yielding an intense, decadent dessert, the one we spell out here shows you how healthy (and delicious) hot cocoa can be. That’s right, healthy. Pair it with popcorn and you have one of our favorite winter snacks. Let’s show you how to make it, shall we?

Select the right milk: This depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in your hot cocoa. Unsweetened almond milk will give you the lowest-calorie drink, but it’s pretty shy on nutrients (although the fortified kind will give you calcium). Cow’s milk gives you protein, calcium and vitamins A and D. Choosing low-fat or reduced-fat milk will give you a bit of the creaminess of milk, with fewer calories than whole milk.

Add cocoa: All that positive news about chocolate and your health? It’s talking about cocoa powder. Cocoa powder (and specifically natural cocoa powder rather than the Dutch-processed kind) has antioxidants, which promote blood flow — a benefit that may help with memory and heart health. Use a heaping tablespoon per cup of milk.

Sweeten it (lightly): Let the bitterness of cocoa shine by using a minimal amount of sweetener. Use a teaspoon of sugar or, for an extra dose of antioxidants, a drizzle of maple syrup. For a sugar-free treat, you can use a touch of stevia. A bit of vanilla extract also adds a sweet flavor without sugar.

Spice it up: Cinnamon, cardamom and ginger all pair well with cocoa and deliver a host of antioxidants, as well as flavor.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

Next Up

5 Healthier Hot Dogs

I used to be totally against anything related to a hot dog. Part of the reason I changed my mind was because of these healthier options.

Make a Healthier Soup

Hot tips for healthy cooking from Food Network Kitchens' Katherine Alford: Sneak a little more fiber into your favorite soups: Use whole grains instead of white rice or noodles.

Is Drinking Hot Water Healthier?

We break down whether the temperature of your drinking water matters.

Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Floats

We've got four "cool" ways to enjoy hot chocolate.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Healthier Hot Dogs

Can you eat hot dogs on a healthy diet? Here are our picks for the best brands and the most filling hot dog toppings.

How to Make A Healthier Soup

As the cold weather sets in, bone warming soups really hit the spot. But there’s no need to pack on the heavy cream pounds when indulging in a delicious bowl of goodness.

Learn How to Make Nashville Hot Chicken and Never Be Chilly Again

We can't make winter end faster, but Eric Greenspan's spicy recipe is one of the tastiest ways to get through it.

Which is Healthier: Burger vs. Hot Dog

In this new series, we’re pitting some of your favorite foods against each other. We’re starting out with the hottest fight of the barbecue season: burger verses hot dog. Who’s the winner of this battle?

3 Fun Ways to Make Hot Chocolate Bombs

Anyone can enjoy this fun winter project — even if you don't have chocolate molds.

10 Ways to Make a Healthier Pizza

Pizza can go either way: quintessential greasy junk food or healthy combo of fresh ingredients. Here's how to build a pie with a healthier profile.

Related Pages